Illinois Municipal Electric Agency

IMEA Electric Efficiency Program

The IMEA Electric Efficiency Program is comprised of four components. Please click on the section you are interested in learning about.

IMEA Electric Efficiency Program for Commercial/Industrial and Public-Sector Projects Restarts


After a brief hiatus for retooling, the IMEA Electric Efficiency Program for Commercial/Industrial and Public-Sector projects opened for the FY2016-17 program year in mid-June with the pre-application for lighting projects posted to the Electric Efficiency Program Web page at


Plans are to have separate applications for each ‘family’ of electric efficiency project measures – lighting, HVAC refrigeration, air compressors, fans and motors, and custom projects posted to the Web. The goal is to make those applications web-based, self-populating and self-calculating. However, technical delays have slowed progress. So, for now, the lighting application posted at the site is a temporary PDF version that applicants will have to download and complete by hand. In that sense it is not unlike the applications the program has used in the past.


Revising the Electric Efficiency Program

The Agency’s electric efficiency program is undergoing an evaluation from CLEAResult, one of the nation’s leading firms in the area of electric efficiency program implementation and evaluation. The goals are to provide an evaluation of past results and gather recommendations for moving forward.


CLEAResult’s recommendations are to align the program – especially the Commercial/Industrial program – more closely with the prescriptions of the Illinois Statewide Technical Reference Manual for Energy Efficiency (known as the TRM), which describes the guidelines under which the state’s investor owned utilities’ electric efficiency programs must operate. In addition being considered best practices in the state, it’s possible that if the state’s compliance program for the federal Clean Power Plan includes the granting of CO2 allowances for electrical efficiency programs, then only those programs that operate in adherence to the TRM would qualify to earn allowances.



The Commercial/Industrial and Public Sector Projects Program

On the Commercial/Industrial and Public Sector Projects side of the Agency’s program, moving toward a program that is more in step with the TRM involves some changes to the way the program operates and calculates kWh savings.


CLEAResult has recommended that IMEA rework its program application and procedures in order to coordinate with energy savings calculators that CLEAResult is building for IMEA and to make the application process more user-friendly to applicants.


For 2016-17, incentive levels have dipped slightly, to bring the program’s cost effectiveness in line with the industry average and the number of allowable measures will decrease to exclude measures that are outside the TRM.

New Commercial/Industrial and Public Sector Applications and Procedures

Rather than one application that seeks to cover all possible measures that are eligible to receive incentives, going forward, there are likely to be six distinct types of applications. Each application will cover a specific “family” of measures. The “families” and their measures are as follows.


1.       Refrigeration: The specific measures are:

a)       Commercial Solid and Glass Door Refrigerators and Freezers;

b)      Evaporator Fan Controls;

c)       Automatic Door Closers for Walk-in Coolers and Freezers;

d)      Strip Curtain for Walk-in Coolers and Freezers;

e)      Anti-sweat Heater Controls;

f)        Electronically Commutated Motors (ECM) for Walk-in and Reach-in Coolers / Freezers;

g)       Beverage and Snack Machine Controls.

2.       HVAC: The measure is Small Commercial Programmable Thermostats.

3.       Lighting and Occupancy Controls: The measures are:

a)       Commercial ENERGY STAR Compact Fluorescent Lamps;

b)      Commercial ENERGY STAR Specialty Compact Fluorescent Lamps;

c)       High Performance and Reduced Wattage T8 Fixtures and Lamps;

d)      LED Fixtures and Bulbs – Including Exterior (e.g., street lights);

e)      Commercial LED Exit Signs;

f)        Fluorescent Delamping;

g)       LED Traffic Signals;

h)      T5 Fixtures and Lamps – Including High Bay, Exterior;

i)        Occupancy Sensor Lighting Controls

4.       Air Compressors: The measure is VSD Air Compressors.

5.       Efficient Fans and Motors: The measures are:

a)       Variable Speed Drives for HVAC Supply and Return Fans;

b)      Variable Speed Drives for HVAC Pumps and Cooling Tower Fans

6.       Custom Projects: The measures are measures not listed as one of the prescriptive measures above. Certain motors and power factor correction projects may be examples of acceptable Custom Projects. IMEA will evaluate Custom Project applications and will require additional measurement and verification for all Custom Projects. IMEA will not give Notice to Proceed to any project that relies on changes in customer behavior to obtain electricity savings and is highly unlikely to give Notice to Proceed to any project for measures that are not covered in the Illinois Statewide Technical Reference Manual for Energy Efficiency.




If an electric efficiency project at a specific facility encompasses more than one “family” of electric efficiency measures, then the applicant must divide the project into multiple projects by family and submit one project application per family of measures.

When ready, a
pplication forms will be posted at

Roll Out Date for the FY2016-17 Commercial/Industrial and Public-Sector Projects Program

As CLEAResult delivers energy savings calculators to IMEA, the Agency will then make applications and post them to the Web. That process has begun and will continue until an application for each family of measures is in place. The lighting application was first because historically lighting measures have accounted for more than 85% of the Agency’s Commercial/Industrial electric efficiency projects. The other application forms will follow as soon as possible.



Other Procedures and Features of the Commercial/Industrial and Public Sector Program

The program operates much as it has in the past. The basic process is:

1.       Applicants send the pre-application to IMEA to review.

2.       IMEA reviews the application and then sends it to the appropriate IMEA board member, who works with city officials to determine the amount of the incentive amount to grant to the project. (Members can grant a project anywhere from $0 to the maximum amount for which it qualifies.)

3.       IMEA issues a Notice to Proceed to the applicant.

4.       The applicant does the project and sends a final application to IMEA to review.

5.       IMEA reviews the final application, pays the incentive and reports to the member.


Going forward, applications will be accepted on a rolling basis (until a member municipality’s funding is completely allocated) and IMEA board members will be asked to provide a decision on incentive levels within two weeks of receiving a pre-application. 


As in the past, any Member that wants to use all or part of its Commercial/Industrial incentive funds to operate a locally administered residential program may do so. The city must first get approval from IMEA and demonstrate how it will account for funding and deem kWh savings according to the methodology described in the Illinois Statewide Technical Reference Manual for Energy Efficiency.


Residential Measures

For Fiscal Year 2016-17, the IMEA continues the Recycle My Fridge program and will seek to develop additional residential offerings administered at IMEA.


Recycle My Fridge 

People who receive their electricity from an IMEA-member electric system have an easy way to get rid of an unwanted freezer or refrigerator taking up space in the basement or garage.


For doing so, they will receive a $50 prepaid card. Residents of owner-occupied homes can schedule an appointment to have their refrigerator or freezer picked up from inside their homes, free of charge, by calling 877-341-2313 (toll free) or visiting the program’s Web site ( The unit is then properly recycled. 


For more information, contact Rodd Whelpley ( or 217-789-4632).